A typical day in the life of a Hospice Nurse?

Specialties Hospice


Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

I have been a nurse since June 2009. I have been working in LDRP for the last year. I love my job in OB but have recently been encourage by a friend of a friend who is a hospice nurse to apply for a per-diem job (we work 8hr shifts in my department but I only work part time right now and we are voting for 12 hr shift in these next 2 weeks).

What is a typical day for a hospice nurse? Do you think some one who has only worked L&D can handle/be a good hospice nurse? I have handled death in the past, so I am not worried about not being emotionally ready for it; just wondering if I have the skill set. The job only requires 1 year of critical care, which I have; but it is not med/surg.

Specializes in Hospice.

I am a case manager and my typical day is 8-10 hours. I start at about 8am, catching up on report and beginning to gather supplies and medications. I start visits in the hospital around 9 and try to start seeing pts in the community by 11. I often see 6-9 patients a day.

My thoughts on someone going from OB to hospice. You need the ability to do a thorough assessment on a patient and determine probable cause and best treatment. You truly work on your own, and even when calling the doctor they are relying on your assessment and your recommendations. There are no labs or radiology to assist. We actually had a nurse from OB who worked for us. She had never worked med/surg and had a very difficult time. Also, be sure to not overlook the emotional difficulty of this job. It is not just dealing with death, it is watching people who have suffered unnecessarily, caring for children of parents who are dying, or vice versa, and it is walking into a home and seeing your patient who looks just like your grandma before she died. It is a very difficult and stressful job.

All of that being said, I love it. It may be a great fit for you, or it may not. I would recommend having a plan b, just in case it doesn't work out.

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